Once upon a time, M. Night Shyamalan could do no wrong. By the time "After Earth" came along, his name was much, much smaller in the ads than its stars Will and Jaden Smith, if his name was to be found at all.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Either by choice or necessity, Shyamalan's latest project is very small and hasn't been getting a ton of press. He's been tweeting about a "microfilm" project he's working on for the past few months, revealing a few choice details here and there, and has just started posting photos from the set. Principal photography began on the 19th in Philly, and his latest snap was of the clapboard and movie title, "Sundowning." It sounds unlikely that this is the project M. Night has planned with Bruce Willis, which was announced at the Berlin Film Festival at the end of January. "Sundowning" sounds a little spooky -- Shyamalan refers to a "scary house" as part of the location -- and the Willis project, which has the working title "Labor of Love," sounds like a straight drama slash love story. That isn't stopping folks from speculating that Willis is attached to "Sundowning" as well, or even reporting rumors that he was spotted on the set. (Take that with a grain of salt!) Given Willis's understandable exhaustion with film junkets, maybe doing a microbudget movie where the majority of the promotion is left up to the director's Twitter account is ideal.
In any case, this seems like a great way for Shyamalan to drum up buzz about an indie film after years of blockbuster-sized bombs. One of the biggest advantages of Twitter for people like Shyamalan -- directors, actors, and celebs who are usually tight-lipped around the press -- is that it gives normal people the chance to feel like they have a real interaction and connection with someone who's normally forced to speak in soundbytes. And that can only be good news for a director who wants to get back in the public's good graces.